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FOR PRESS 74/99

17/5/74

STATEMENT BY THE RT. HON. B.M. SNEDDEN. QC. MP. ! ' : 17th MAY 197^ '

WOMEN

1975 is International Women's Year.

We are committed to making the year a mile-stone in achieving real progress for women in Australia.

We recognise the invaluable contribution that is being made by a large number of women's organisations throughout Australia, seeking change and improvement for women.

Last year a National Committee was established under the aegis of the United Nations Association of Australia to further the objectives laid down by ithe United Nations for International Women's Year.

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We are in full agreement with these objectives and will/ all that we can to assist the Committee.

Following discussions with Senator Margaret Guilfoyle, I have decided on the following initiatives.

We have decided to provide financial assistance to the Committee to enable it to undertake the Australian component of the world­ wide activities to be held in 1975·

This is in line with our previously stated policy that we would encourage the United Nations Association of Australia to actively disseminate information about the work of the United Nations.

We are particularly conscious of the difficulties that women face in establishing direct contact with Government. To facilitate communication and provide a community focal point for women, we have decided to establish a Women's Secretariat in the new Dep­

artment of Community Development, to assist in the International Year activities in 1975·

The Secretariat will have an on-going function and will maintain regular contact with women's groups in the community, to encourage the work they are.undertaking. The Secretariat will combine many of the functions now undertaken by the Women's Bureau in the Department <>f Labor. We would hope that the need for such a

Secretariat would diminish over time, as individual Departments come to recognise their particular responsibilities in relation to women. The Secretariat would not seek to supplant any of the activities of women's groups. It would act to assist them. '

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